1. “We’re in the cross hairs like never before.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, the federal agency that administers Medicare and other health programs, got smacked with cuts early this month as lawmakers failed to avert the sequester, $1.2 trillion in spending cuts designed to help trim the country’s budget deficit. Hospitals and doctors face 2% cuts in the amounts that Medicare reimburses them for services rendered to recipients—cuts of $10.7 billion this year and $118.8 billion over nine years, according to a report by consulting firm Tripp Umbach.
While patients themselves won’t see any direct reduction in their benefits, experts say the ripple effects of the sequester could indeed hit older Americans. Doctors and hospitals had warned that their industries would have to slash more than 200,000 jobs this year alone if the sequester went through.